- The Town of Surfside received a 40-year inspection report required for the Champlain South Towers 16 hours after the catastrophic failure of the beachfront building.
- An inspection report from October 2018 revealed “abundant” cracks and chipping of the columns, beams and walls of the garage under the tower which collapsed early Thursday.
On Friday evening, the town of Surfside posted a dozen documents on its website regarding the Champlain South Towers collapse, including a 40-year required inspection report that was posted as “unverified” and received 4pm. after the catastrophic failure of the Florida condominium.
“The report was not formally submitted or authorized by landowner Champlain Towers,” the note said, adding that it was “as required by” the Miami-Dade County code.
None of the documents, which date from 2018, appear to contain details that would explain the collapse of the seaside building, but reveal several potentially serious issues.
The reports, some only a few pages long and others over 300, range from detailed blueprints to concrete repair permits to a courtesy notice reminding residents to turn off exterior lights so baby turtles aren’t confused. when they hatch and don’t. to the safety of the ocean.
An inspection report from October 8, 2018 found ‘abundant’ cracks and chipping of the columns, beams and walls of the garage under the tower that fell to the ground early Thursday, killing at least four people and leaving 159 others missing . Spalling refers to the deterioration of concrete, sometimes causing spalling and exposure of steel rebar called rebar.
“Profuse cracks and splinters to varying degrees were observed in the columns, beams and concrete walls” of the ground floor parking garage, according to a structural field investigation report from Morabito Consultants .
It appears that plans to correct these issues weren’t solidified until April of this year, although the original report was released in October 2018.
“While some of this damage is minor, most of the deterioration in concrete needs to be repaired in a timely manner,” the report notes.
The cause of the cracking is not known, said John Wallace, professor of structural engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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“It could be a slow degradation over time, maybe the concrete was not placed correctly, it could be that the ground has moved a little bit causing it. It could be several different things. “, did he declare.
Wallace, who has been involved in several forensic analyzes of building failures, warned that there was no indication that this was the cause of the collapse, just that it deserved investigation.
The report included photos of parking garage columns in which concrete had cracked and rebar was visible.
“Concrete deterioration” at the South Champlain towers
A September 6, 2018 inspection report from Frank Morabito indicated that no bulging or settling had been observed. However, he noted that about 8% of the concrete slabs in the garage and building plaza had suffered “concrete deterioration”. In addition, about 5% of the balcony floor slabs exhibited hairline cracks.
The report found additional chipping or cracking in a small percentage of concrete columns and exterior walls. One column contained a large crack, defined as greater than 2 millimeters.
In another section of the report, he noted that the waterproofing membranes were “beyond their useful life” and needed to be replaced. He further noted that the pool and hot tub were leaking and needed to be removed and all cracked or chipped concrete needed to be repaired.
“It appears the concrete frame slab supporting the plaza / pool” above the garage had already undergone repairs and crack repairs.
“This work has been less than satisfactory and needs to be completed again,” the report said.
A document dated April 26, 2021 was titled “40 Years of Building Repair and Restoration”. It includes 84 pages of what appears to be a specification for the repair of the building. The plans have been completed by Morabito Consultants and stamped in red with “in progress set 4/27/2021, not for construction. “
The tender documents also included plans for slab reinforcement and concrete and masonry repairs. It stipulated maximum load weights for the roof, floors and square.
Before and after:A look at Champlain Towers South, the partially collapsed Florida building
A permit dated May 17, 2021 for $ 1.1 million for roof maintenance included the removal of the existing roof system up to the concrete deck, priming the deck with an asphalt primer, demolition of the existing stucco and insulating and sealing the entire roof surface with hot coal tar pitch and encrusted gravel.
A permit dated April 27, 2021 showed work valued at $ 59,400 was underway to repair and refurbish roof fans, air conditioner disconnects and other “minor electrical work.”
Another permit, dated May 5, 2021, was $ 169,473 for the installation of safety anchors on the roof to facilitate window washing and for stucco repairs on the exterior of the building.
Finally, the building received a courtesy notice from the Town of Surfside on May 20, 2021, stating that the building’s lighting did not comply with regulations for the protection of sea turtles. Lighting near beaches can keep turtle outbreaks away from the sea and deter female turtles from nesting on the beach at night.
To resolve the issue, the building was instructed to install tinted glass and rearrange lamps away from windows or use blinds and curtains to shield indoor beach lights as well as turn off unnecessary lights. .